What is the IU1 Fab Lab?
The Intermediate Unit 1 (IU1) Fab Lab and Mobile Fab Lab are technical platforms for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, workforce development, and business idea prototyping. Students have the opportunity to explore the entire engineering design process in authentic and real world contexts by providing tools that enable them to go from concept to drawing, models to prototype, and redesign to final product. The IU1 Fab Labs give students the tools to develop the practical and critical thinking skills they will need to be the inventors and innovators of our future. The lab serves as a motivational environment to encourage student engagement with technology.
Fab Labs are increasingly being adopted by schools as platforms for project-based, hands-on STEM education. Users learn by designing and creating objects of personal interest or import. Empowered by the experience of making something themselves, they both learn and mentor each other, gaining deep knowledge about the machines, the materials, the design process, and the engineering that goes into invention and innovation. In educational settings, rather than relying on a fixed curriculum, learning happens in an authentic, engaging, personal context, one in which students go through a cycle of imagination, design, prototyping, reflection, and iteration as they find solutions to challenges or bring their ideas to life.